I finally got to press my sequel to my urban metaphysical novel Coffee with Thunderbolts. I wrote A Star Rose in Cerami during the 2011 NaNoWriMo. The characters from my first book are back and off to the wilds of Sicily to fix a “tiny” metaphysical problem that occurred after their experience of the Mayan Doomsday of 12/21/12. You can find all of my books on my Author Spotlight on Lulu.
I did write another novel for the 2012 NaNoWriMo. It is a young adult book, and it is a “disguised” science fiction tale. I will give updates and details as I get closer to a publication date.
Over the summer, I participated in the LitChat Salon, and I had my very short fantasy story, A Feather for the Devil, critiqued. I had so much fun doing this that I hope to take the character in that story and work up a novel at some point in time.
For those of you aspiring (and perspiring) writers out there, I recommend #litchat on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4 pm to 5 pm EST on Twitter. On Monday nights from 9 pm to 10 pm EST there is also #writersroad. For all of us who travel the indie path, on Tuesday evenings at 9 pm EST there is #indiechat. For SF in particular, check out #scifichat on Fridays from 2 pm to 4 pm EST. You will not only have fun, but you will learn a great deal on the subject of writing and publishing.
Friend of Fast Forward, Michael Swanwick, is also doing a special Halloween story. He has been putting one sentence a day on his blog - http://floggingbabel.blogspot.com – and the story will end on Halloween. You can read the entire story to date from link on the blog. Michael is a master of the short short so this is sure to be a wonderful story. His comments each day on the writing are fascinating.
Also, when it’s done, the original typescript, framed and signed, will go up on auction on Ebay. All proceeds will go to Clarion West, so keep an eye open and let all your collector friends know.
In the spirit of Halloween, author Neil Gaiman has recorded a reading of a short story which you can download for free at audible.com. It’s called “Click-Clack the Rattle Bag”, and you can only download it until October 31st. For each download from the site, audible.com will make a donation to donorschoose.org or booktrust.
You can go to Neil Gaiman’s journal (journal.neilgaiman.com) for more information. The complete link to his post about the story is http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2012/10/something-really-cool-is-about-to-happen.html.
Neil asks that you wait to listen to it until after dark…
Hugo Winners at Chicon 7!
Congratulations to all the 2012 Hugo Award winners! You can find a complete list of the winners at the Hugo Awards website – http://www.thehugoawards.org/
The venue at Chicon 7 was completely packed, with people standing all along the sides and rear of the ballroom for the entire two & a quarter hour ceremony. Those of us in the room enjoyed a (mostly) entertaining and glitch-free evening. Unfortunately, this was not true for people watching the live video stream of the event – including those folks watching at Dragoncon. The very technology that allowed for worldwide streaming of the ceremony went wrong part-way through. During Neil Gaiman’s acceptance speech for the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, Ustream cut off the web feed for “copyright violations”. This was apparently caused by ‘bots noticing the video clips of the Best Dramatic Presentation nominees. Though these clips pretty clearly fit a fair use description, the Ustream channel was terminated and not reestablished.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of copyright and intellectual property when an organization trying to recognize media programs for excellence is shut down by overzealous technology claiming to “protect” copyright owners.
Several times at this convention I have been involved in discussions addressing the issue of technology outstripping our ability as a society to manage it. In the midst of the greatest Information Age humanity has ever known, information is in danger of actually becoming more constrained – simply for the sake of commerce. Despite the technological “democratization” of information, small numbers of powerful gatekeepers continue to dictate what we see and how we see it (don’t even get me started on HDCP).
I’m sure the Hugo streaming shutdown scenario can be avoided in the future by choosing a different (and probably more expensive) streaming provider. And I doubt that anyone suffered life-threatening injury because he or she was unable to watch the Hugo awards ceremony live. But this serves as one more example of how we raise barriers of cost and/or extra negotiation to engage in perfectly legal dissemination of information.
Saying “no” is easy. Letting powerful gatekeepers dictate terms to society is easy. Ceding control of policing the internet to draconian “zero tolerance” ‘bots is easy. I hope that someday society will recognize that easy is not always the right way to go. Surely there must be a few SF stories lurking somewhere in this mess?
I’m at the live Squeecast event at Chicon. Highly entertaining. Cat Valente has given an enthusiastic plug for the classic John Crowley book, Engine Summer. Jay Lake has told the audience about Rubber, the most bizarre film he’s seen (and that’s saying something).
Not attending Chicon 7? Don’t forget that you can watch the Hugo Award ceremony live from Chicago on Ustream at www.ustream.tv/channel/worldcon1. If you can’t handle the video bandwidth, there will also be live text coverage of the ceremony at www.TheHugoAwards.org.
Strange Horizons, an online SF & F magazine held a tea at Chicon 7 on Saturday. We talked with some of the editorial staff about the magazine.
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Mentioned at a panel on “Best New SF&F Authors of the 21st Century” at the Worldcon: China Mieville, Paolo Bacigalupi, M. Rickert, Peter Watts, Genevieve Valentine, Adam Roberts, Darryl Gregory, Cat Valente, Joe Hill, Nnedi Okorafor, & Aliette De Bodard.
Members of the Fast Forward team have arrived at Chicon. We hope to post a few pictures and updates from the convention, for the benefit of those of you who can’t attend.
Sorry it’s taken so long to get this month’s episode posted – the production team has been consumed with helping on the SFWA Nebula Awards Weekend.
- Author Connie Willis
Finally, however, the interview from episode #256 of Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction is available to view online. In this episode we welcome back author Connie Willis. Mrs. Willis, who has won many, many awards for her work, has recently been given the SFWA Grand Master Award (a recognition of lifetime achievement in the field). In this interview Mrs. Willis talks about the early days of her career, her love of movies, and the trepidation of having her work adapted for the screen. She also discusses her research and writing process, and talks about plot versus character.
Also in this episode:
Colleen Cahill reviews The Master of Heathcrest Hall, a novel by Galen Beckett.
Marianne Petrino gives 3 chans to Ghost Slayers Ayashi, an anime television and OVA series.
This episode of Fast Forward was first shown in May, 2012.
Episode #257 should be coming along soon. Really.
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Podcast (videocast): Play in new window